This actually isn’t too bad, but in the words of the great Tyra Banks… learn something from this. Because we are not finna do this again, sir.
As soon as the NBA Finals ended, attention turned to Memphis. Ja Morant had been suspended by the Memphis Grizzlies since May 14 after he flashed a gun on Instagram Live…again. It was the second time that Morant had done this, earning an eight-game suspension in March after the first incident. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver appeared to imply that the league would be coming down hard on Morant. After revealing that Morant’s punishment would be issued after the Finals, Silver gave a hardline response about the incident.
Amid the support and condemnation of Morant and his actions, there was much debate about how long he would be suspended. The first concrete indication came from Morant’s team. While claiming that the gun was fake, Morant’s team said that they still expected a suspension of around 30 games. This was a prediction echoed by a number of NBA pundits. Furthermore, many people lobbied the NBA to be lenient on Morant. They argued that harsher punishment would not mean the underlying issues went away. However, we now know how much time Morant will miss.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 16, 2023
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Ja Morant will be suspended for 25 games during the 2023-24 NBA season. Around three times the length of his suspension in March, the revealed punishment is in line with most expectations for his punishment. However, this means that the Grizzlies will likely be without Morant until early December.
While the punishment is certainly impactful, it could have been far worse for Morant and the Grizzlies. However, it’s clear that Adam Silver, despite his vocal bravado about gun safety, is unwilling to remove one of the league’s biggest names. Morant has said very little since he was initially suspended from team activities, however he has now broken his silence to fully address the incident.
Ja Morant statement: pic.twitter.com/KJCxTVEIRj
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 16, 2023
“I’ve had time to reflect and I realize how much I’ve caused. I want to apologize to the NBA, the Grizzlies, my teammates, and the city of Memphis. To Adam Silver, Zach Kleiman and Robert Pera – who gave me the opportunity to be a professional athlete and have supported me – I’m sorry for the harm I’ve done. To the kids who look up to me, I’m sorry for failing you as a role model. I promise I’m going to be better. To all my sponsors, I’m going to be a better representation of our brands. And to all my fans, I’m going to make it up to you, I promise.”
He continued. “I’m spending the offseason and my suspension continuing to work on my own mental health and decision making. I’m also going to be training so that I’m ready to go when I can be back on the court. I know my teammates are going to hold id down and I’m so sorry I won’t be out there with you at the beginning of the season. I hope you’ll give me the chance to prove to you over time I’m a better man than what I’ve been showing you.” While hitting all the right beats, the apology sounds very similar to the one he gave after his last suspension. Take a look for yourself and let us know your thought on this whole thing.